Bröstimplantat från PIP. Photo: Daniel Garcia / TT. 31 October 2013

Two women suing clinic over banned breast implants

After a French breast implant was banned in Sweden, two women are suing the cosmetic surgery clinic for the cost of getting their implants removed.

Isabelle Westerdahl found out two years ago that her breast implants were of the banned type, made by Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). She says to Swedish Radio News that she does not feel good, that her breasts are starting to look like raisins, they have become more saggy, and they have dropped by about two centimetres. And worst of all, she is worried whether the implants have started to leak.

According to the Swedish authorities the French-made implants have a greater risk of breaking apart inside a women's body. No new operations using the PIP silicone implants are allowed.

But two women are now suing the cosmetic surgery clinic that performed their surgeries, and they say the Art Clinic in Gothenburg, on Sweden's west coast, did not even notify them once those implants had been banned.

There are 4,000 women living with these implants in Sweden. About 1,000 of them got their breast jobs done at the Art Clinic. There are about 300,000 women worldwide in over 65 countries who have the PIP implants.

Camilla Norén is suing the Clinic. She says she decided to have her implants removed, as she did not want anything poisonous in her body, but she is not happy about having to pay for the cost of the operation. She says when she asked the Clinic whether she had been given the PIP implant, they told her "no." She only got an answer after a year-and-a-half of pressuring the company.

But Art Clinic's president Ronnie Pettersson says that the product was CE-mark certified, meaning it meets EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements.

"We have purchased CE-mark certified quality implants, and we have done everything in our power. We have followed up with patients, both verbally and in writing, and we've done about everything we can to take care of patients in all situations," Ronnie Petersson told Swedish Radio News. He said that out of about 1,000 women who received the PIP implants from the Art Clinic, only a few were unable to be reached because they were abroad or had died.

Since Gothenburg Post's story about Norén, she has been contacted by other women, both via mail and Facebook. Several have had similar experiences with the PIP implants from Art Clinic.

According to the law firm Medical Law, many affected women have already received compensation and signed settlements on the condition they remain silent. However, the firm says there is a large group of women still seeking compensation from cosmetic clinics.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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